Ben Affleck will soon be reprising his role as Batman in Andy Muschietti's The Flash, but the actor was originally supposed to get his own standalone Batman film before Robert Pattinson took over the role in Matt Reeves' The Batman. Affleck developed a standalone movie set in the shared DC Extended Universe and was attached to direct the screenplay he had co-written with Geoff Johns about Batman battling the assassin Deathstroke. However, Affleck dropped out as a director in 2017, and Warner Bros. brought in Reeves, who ultimately turned down directing Affleck's script in favor of the rebooted version that was released earlier this year. Despite going in his own direction, Reeves recently told Jeff Goldsmith on his podcast that Affleck's version "could have been a very exciting movie."
"The movie was originally going to be directed by Ben Affleck, and the script they sent me had been written by Ben but rewritten by another very talented writer, and when I read it, I was like, 'Oh, I get it,'" Reeves explained. "It was a standalone Batman film that was centered on Ben's version of the character, but it was more action-driven than what I felt I could do. I didn't connect to the movie-in terms of me as a filmmaker. It was very James Bond-ian; it was filled with a lot of set pieces. It could have been a very exciting movie for someone else to do, but it wasn't for me to do."
Reeves added, "Interestingly, I think Ben wasn't so sure he wanted to it because he ultimately stepped away from doing Batman all together ... Probably because of the choices in his life at that time and what he wanted to do."
"I said look, I think maybe I'm not the person for this," Reeves previously said of an Affleck-starring Batman. "And I explained to them why I love this character. I told them that there have been so many great movies, but if I were to do this, I'd have to make it personal, so that I understood what I was going to do with it, so that I know where to put the camera, so that I know what to tell the actors, so that I know what the story should be."
Ben Affleck's Batman returns in The Flash, in theaters on June 23, 2023. Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Andy Serkis, and Colin Farrell star in The Batman, which is now streaming on HBO Max.